POLITICS
07/01/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

US Funds Anti-American Arab Broadcasts

An Arab-language television network and radio station, founded by the Bush administration to promote a positive image of the United States, has aired anti-American and anti-Israeli viewpoints, has showcased pro-Iranian policies and recently gave air time to a militant who called for the death of American soldiers in Iraq.

So far, U.S. taxpayers have spent nearly $500 million to fund those broadcasts. The television station, called Alhurra, and the radio network, Sawa, were meant to provide an American perspective on world events and counter the wave of global criticism that had been building against the Bush administration since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Instead, Alhurra's four years of operation have been marked by a string of broadcast disasters that government officials believe are as negative as anything aired by Al Jazeera, the widely watched Qatar-based station that aired unedited speeches of Osama bin Laden.

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